In our previous four articles we discussed several key points pertaining to establishing permanent residence in the United States. If you are foreign medical professional whose Green Card application is pending, we strongly recommend you extend your H-1B visa while you wait.
For starters, extending your H-1B visa will ensure you maintain a legal status in the event your Green Card application is denied. Should the government deny your application, you could face deportation if your H-1B visa has expired.
Getting an extension on your H-1B, even if you file for the extension the day before its expiration, ensures that you will still be able to continue working without interruption while your Green Card application is pending. With an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), it is a different matter. If your EAD expires before renewal has been approved, you will not be authorized to work in the United States. This is why it is prudent to file for an EAD renewal 90 to 120 days before it expires. Note that you cannot file to renew an EAD earlier than 120 days before expiration).
It is important to emphasize that while you do not need an EAD if you are under an H-1B, it is nonetheless recommended that you apply for an EAD when you send in your I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status). This is so that, in the event your H-1B isn't extended for whatever reason, you will still be able to work (and with an EAD you can work for any employer, whereas with an H-1B you can only work for one employer).
Finally, another important reason for extending your H-1B while your Green Card application is pending is for the security of your family. If your spouse or child did not or could not file for adjustment of status, then maintaining your H-1B status may be necessary to maintain status for your spouse, child, or the individual you are planning to marry who needs a visa.